RICHMOND, Va. — Police say Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Michael Vick has not been ruled out as suspect or person of interest in a shooting investigation in Virginia Beach.
Police spokesman Adam Bernstein said Thursday police did not look at Vick, or anyone else, as a possible suspect immediately after the shooting early Friday because detectives had not begun their investigation. The shooting came shortly after Vick’s birthday party at a club ended.
Bernstein said police will not discuss specifics of the investigation and that no one has been named as a suspect or arrested. He declined to characterize Vick’s status in the case.
“I don’t want to say either way as to what his involvement is,” Bernstein told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “Everyone wants me to give him a label because of who he is.”
Vick’s attorney, Larry Woodward, did not immediately return phone messages left Thursday.
Police have not identified the shooting victim, but Woodward said it was Quanis Phillips, a co-defendant in the dogfighting case that sent Vick to federal prison.
One condition of Vick’s probation is that he is not allowed to be in the company of other felons. Woodward said Phillips was not invited to the party and that he and Vick had no interaction.
Woodward also said his client, a former star with the Atlanta Falcons, left the party at least 10 minutes, and perhaps as many as 20, before the shooting took place.
However, Allen Fabijan, spokesman for Guadalajara Mexican restaurant and nightclub, said Wednesday that Vick left the club just minutes before the shooting.
Fabijan said that that time-stamped footage from a surveillance camera outside the entrance of the club shows a car with Vick inside leaving at 2:07 a.m. – about 4 minutes before the shooting a block away. He said that Vick was traveling in the direction of where the shooting took place.
Police said their first 911 call reporting the shooting came in at 2:11.
Fabijan said police have asked the club not to release the video to media but allowed the AP to view the grainy footage. Vick’s face is not discernible.
Phillips was released from a Virginia Beach hospital on Saturday. He was sentenced to 21 months in prison in the dogfighting case after detailing for authorities his and Vick’s role in the operation.
Vick, accompanied by Woodward, was interviewed by detectives in the case on Monday.
The NFL and the Eagles have said they are looking into the matter.
NFL commissioner Goodell told Vick when he reinstated him that his margin for error was “extremely limited.”